Skip Nav

Black Maid Sues, Says 'The Help' Is Humiliating

Filmography

❶Her ambition to write and love for her childhood carer lead her and the maids to eventually come together and become invoved in a dangerous project which puts all their lives at risk. The novel was an instant favorite among book clubs, written in the voice of black "help" by a woman raised by maids herself and who is white.

At the end of the novel, what final words does Aibileen want Mae Mobley to remember?

Upcoming Events
Kathryn Stockett
Publisher Says Novel Is 'Work of Fiction'

Preview — The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women: Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is , Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger.

Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disapp Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women: Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way.

She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women — mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends — view one another.

A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't. Hardcover , pages. Jackson, Mississippi , United States. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Help , please sign up.

Do any of you remember the exact words said to the little girl: Brenda You is kind. My 12 year old daughter would like to read this.

I have not read it in a few years and can't remember if there is anything graphic that she will encounter. What do you think about a middle school student reading this? Sidney I actually read this amazing book when I was exactly 12 years old, and I believe that it's crucial for children to understand that this actually …more I actually read this amazing book when I was exactly 12 years old, and I believe that it's crucial for children to understand that this actually happened and it's not pretend.

I would absolutely have your daughter read this, the voices are authentic and it perfectly sums up events that occurred during this time period. See all 64 questions about The Help…. Lists with This Book.

Apr 30, Meredith Holley marked it as abandoned Recommends it for: I have a friend who is mad at me right now for liking stupid stuff, but the thing is that I do like stupid stuff sometimes, and I think it would be really boring to only like smart things. I can list you any number of these writers who would be fine if they weren't reaching into topics about which they have no personal experience incidentally, all writers I'm pretty sure my angry friend loves.

These are the books for which I have no patience, topics that maybe someone with more imagination or self-awareness could have written about compassionately, without exploiting the victimization of the characters.

The Help is one of these. The telephone game is pretty fun sometimes, and it is really beautiful in monster stories like Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights because what they are telling me is not intended as trustworthy or earnest.

All of the seriousness in monster stories is an impression or an emotion reflected back through the layers of narrative. In this book, a white woman writes from the point of view of a black woman during the Civil Rights movement, who overhears the conversations of white women. It's an important topic, and I don't want to hear it through untrustworthy narrators.

It becomes particularly weird when one of the black maids starts to comment on the extreme accent of one of the white women, Celia Foote, whose written dialogue continues to be impeccable. Who is this narrator? Why does she choose not to speak proper English if she can speak it? Why does she choose to give proper English to someone else who she has told me doesn't speak it?

Also, usually the layers of narration in a telephone-game book are only within the book. I am convinced it is her whose brain hears the white woman speaking TV English, and the black women speaking in dialect. It gives away the game.

Even the quotes from the movie have an example of this. A conversation between her and Minnie goes like this: They don't like me because of what they think I did.

They don't like you 'cause they think you white trash. Celia speaks in a proper sentence, but Minny misses the "are" in the second part of the sentence. Celia says "because," but Minny says "'cause. To attempt to be clear, I didn't have a problem that the book was in dialect.

I had a problem that the book said, "This white woman speaks in an extreme dialect," and then wrote the woman's dialog not in dialect. Aerin points out in message that I am talking about eye dialect , which is about spelling, not pronunciation, as in the example above.

Everyone, in real life, speaks in some form of non-standard English. Though I have seen some really beautiful uses of eye dialect, as Aerin points out, writers typically use it to show subservience of characters or that they are uneducated, which often has racist overtones. If it troubles you that I'm saying this, and you would like to comment on this thread, you may want to read other comments because it is likely someone has already said what you are going to say.

When a few IRL friends have asked what I thought of the book and I said I didn't care for it, they have told me that I am taking it too seriously, that it is just a silly, fluff book, not a serious study of Civil Rights. And a book about Civil Rights is always important cultural history to me. If you loved this book, though, or, really, even if you hated it I would recommend Coming of Age in Mississippi.

I think that book is one of the more important records of American history. View all comments. Sep 22, Caroline rated it did not like it. I was uncomfortable with the tone of the book; I felt that the author played to very stereotypical themes, and gave the characters especially the African American ones very inappropriate and obvious voices and structure in terms constructing their mental character.

I understand that the author wrote much of this as a result of her experiences growing up in the south in the 's, and that it may seem authentic to her, and that she was even trying to be respectful of the people and the time; b I was uncomfortable with the tone of the book; I felt that the author played to very stereotypical themes, and gave the characters especially the African American ones very inappropriate and obvious voices and structure in terms constructing their mental character.

I understand that the author wrote much of this as a result of her experiences growing up in the south in the 's, and that it may seem authentic to her, and that she was even trying to be respectful of the people and the time; but, ultimately, I thought that it was written from a very narrow, idealized, almost childish perspective of race relations without a true appreciation of the humanity and soul of the characters.

The author would benefit from exploring authentic African American voices Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou and understanding the scope, range and most important the foundation of the emotions genuine African American characters express as a result of their journey as a people in the US hope, frustration, drive, passion, anger, happiness, sadness, depression, joy.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read the first paragraph of The Help , absorbing the words, but suddenly being caught off guard by the dialect.

I shifted the book in my hands, flipping to the author's biography and photograph on the back of the dust jacket.

Staring up at me was this: An affluent, white Manhattanite. And one who apparently fancies herself a master at Southern Black Vernacular. I rolled my eyes and returned to page one, fully prepared I read the first paragraph of The Help , absorbing the words, but suddenly being caught off guard by the dialect.

I rolled my eyes and returned to page one, fully prepared to hate every word on every page, beginning with Aibileen's horrifically stereotyped "voice" written by this smug White Lady. Look, I really don't subscribe to the belief that one must be a part of a culture in order to write effectively or even stirringly about or in the voice of that culture.

Mark Haddon's Christopher Swinton character is a remarkable sketch of a child with autism. So clearly it can be done. But I was not convinced about Stockett. When Minnie's first chapter hopped along in The Help , I prepared myself for an unconvincing spin on Aibileen's narrative, a pasty twist of the vernacular that had been spewed out in the first paragraph.

That is not what I got. Instead, her character was nothing like the other maid; her own voice was rendered in tough, bitter layers, providing a nice foil to Aibileen's complex struggle between resolve and resign.

But the pages turned, and when I next looked up at the clock, a few hours had passed and I was well on my way to the halfway point. There are countless trite episodes in The Help , standard plot fillers that can be found in both heaving Harlequin romances and sucky Oprah Book Club fodder. But there are more moments of striking beauty, humanity, and humor, even if the ending is a bit of a cop-out. Is The Help Great Literature? Is it a fast and enjoyable read? It's also a fairly striking and genuine portrait of what life in the south was like during those tumultuous times.

So congratulations, Whitey McWhiterson, I wound up not hating your book. And God knows I tried. View all 39 comments. Jun 17, Annalisa rated it it was amazing Recommended to Annalisa by: Here is an illustrative tale of what it was like to be a black maid during the civil rights movement of the s in racially conflicted Mississippi. Stockett includes this quote by Howell Raines in her personal except at the end of the novel: There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that o Here is an illustrative tale of what it was like to be a black maid during the civil rights movement of the s in racially conflicted Mississippi.

There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that of affection between a black person and a white one in the unequal world of segregation.

For the dishonesty upon which a society is founded makes every emotion suspect, makes it impossible to know whether what flowed between two people was honest feeling or pity or pragmatism.

An eloquent way to describe Stockett's intentions for this novel. I know most reviews will probably focus on the racial relationships in the book, but to me the most haunting statement was that when you are paying someone to care for you and their livelihood depends on making you happy, you can't expect an honest relationship.

I did not expect this book to hit so close to home. After all, I did not grow up in the South and completely missed the racial mind shift in the country. But the book isn't just about racism and civil rights. It's about the employer relationship too. And I did grow up in South America with a maid trying to keep herself out of poverty by making our crazy family happy.

As much as we loved her, I can see so many of the pitfalls from these complex relationships in my own history. I know our maid was stuck between pleasing my mother and raising us the way she believed appropriate.

I know it was physically hard to work from sunup to late everyday and emotionally hard to never relax because she wasn't the decision maker of our home and at any moment she could be reprimanded for making the wrong decision. She had absolutely no power, and yet she was all powerful to shape and mold us. I needed her, felt bad for how much I imposed upon her, but I never voiced how much I appreciated or loved her.

I took her for granted. Even though she was paid to love us, I know she did. We were her children, especially my youngest brothers. And yet when she moved back home, we lost contact. Was it out of laziness of our own narcissistic lives or was the complexity of our relationship so draining she cut the tie? It is my fear that she thinks we did not return her affection and only thought of her as the maid. I often think about her, we all reminisce about her wondering where she is, and more than anything, I just want to know that she is happy and tell her thank you.

It is so strange that someone who is such a vital part of your childhood can just vanish out of your life. You only get one in a lifetime. Believe me, I know. The story is strong and real and touched something deep inside me. I could so relate to the motherly love from Constantine to Skeeter, see that pain in the triangle between Aibileen and Mae Mobley and Elizabeth, feel the exasperation of Minny toward Celia, and understand the complexity of the good and bad, the love and hate, the fear and security.

Stockett captured all these emotions. I also loved the writing style. When style compliments plot, I get giddy. I don't always love grammatically incorrect prose or books about an author trying to be published, but here it works because it's honest.

The novel is about a white woman secretly compiling true accounts of black maids--and the novel is in essence a white author trying to understand black maids. The styles parallel each other as do the messages. The point of Skeeter's novel is to make people see that people are just people no matter the color of their skin and Stockett's novel beautifully portrays that with both good and bad on both sides. The fictional novel cover is decorated with the white dove of love and understanding.

To get us there, Stockett gives us three ordinary birds, a picture of ordinary life asking to be accepted for its honest simplicity. This book is Stockett's masterpiece, that story in her that was just itching to get out. From the first page, the voice of the characters took vivid form and became real, breathing people. I loved Aibileen, but think I loved Minny's voice more because she is such a strong character.

Besides the maids, I loved Hilly as a portrayal of the white Southern belle with the ingrained belief that black people are not as good as whites, verbalized as "separate but equal" so it doesn't sound racist.

My favorite scene was when Hilly says they have to be careful of racists because they are out there. She's a bit over the top, but if you've been to the South, not that far of a stretch. I just would have liked to find some redeeming qualities in her from Skeeter's perspective. While there are some instances where I felt Stockett was squeezing historical facts into the novel, forming the plot around these events instead of letting them play backdrop, and occasionally I could read the modern woman in this tale pushing her message too hard, Stockett's sincerity to understand and appreciate shines through.

She lived this book to some extent and the story is a part of her. Because it's important to her it becomes important to me. View all 40 comments. Mar 15, Ellen rated it it was ok Shelves: The Kindle DX I ordered is galloping to the rescue today AND, for all the book purists which would include me , this is a need , rather than a want.

Post-several eye surgeries, I'm just plain sick of struggling to read the words on a page. However, despite the visual challenges, I read all pages of The Help yesterday. Clearly, the book held my interest. However, I spent last night pondering why the book wasn't as good as my nonstop reading would indicate.

Most of all, I think it was the book's ambivalent tone. In brief, a white woman, Miss Skeeter Phelan--one of Jackson, Mississippi's socially elite--convinces a number of the African-American maids to tell her their story. What goes on in the homes of the upper crust? How do these women really treat their maids? Though the book would be published anonymously and no locations would be given, the stories provide enough detail so that the premise that the book could be received as being about Anywhere, USA defies belief.

Further, while having the book's source known might subject Skeeter to social ostracism, this is the s in Missa-fuckin-sippi in the middle of the very tense civil rights' battles. For the maids, discovery would mean loss of a job with no hope of getting another position and retribution that could include being falsely accused of a crime and jailed or even being injured or killed.

Despite the underlying tension and references to violent events that do occur, the book teeters. At times, I was furious and in tears over the effing racism and the tragedies described. But Kathryn Stockett keeps pulling back. It's as though she wants it both ways. Let's divulge the incredible cruelty and violence that black people routinely endured, but let's also show the goodness of some white people and soft-pedal the whole thing into a broader theme, i. You can't have it both ways.

Though some of the women are kinder to their maids, they did not fight against the "separate but equal" indignities that included building a "nigra" toilet in their home or garage so that the maids' "nasty" germs would not infect them, the separate entrances, the substandard schools, the "justice" system that made a white accusation the same as proof, and on and on and on. I don't want a book to make me cry and then pull back and say, "It's all right. If you're going to write a book about this horrible time in our history - and in a country where racism is still alive and well - then do it all out.

What these women endured deserves more. Don't put it out there and then pull back and use a Doris Day lens. View all 53 comments.

While it was a well-written effort, I didn't find it as breathtaking as the rest of the world. It more or less rubbed me the wrong way. It reads like the musings of a white woman attempting to have an uncomfortable conversation, without really wanting to be uncomfortable. It's incredibly hard to write with integrity about race and be completely honest and vulnerable.

And if her intent isn't anything greater, th While it was a well-written effort, I didn't find it as breathtaking as the rest of the world.

And if her intent isn't anything greater, then it makes this book all the more pandering to the white imagination of what it must have been like to be "the help" during that era. It's passive self-reflection at best and utterly useless. The national fascination with this book makes me sick.

It makes me think of my grandmother who was "the help" to many white families for well over 50 years. Her stories aren't too different from those told in this book, but they are hers to tell. If she were alive today, I don't believe she would praise Stockett's book.

In fact, I think she we would be horrified at the thought that her years of hard work in some cases, for some very horrible people would be reduced to some wannabe feel good story of the past. View all 55 comments. Nov 27, Lola rated it really liked it Shelves: You gone have to ask yourself, "Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?

B-but… The Help is different. We all want to live our lives the best way possible and be treated with respect. Miss Skeeter is also an important part of this story.

She faces obstacles, so many of them, but does she ever back down? No, because when she believes in something, no one can kill her spirit. He is the most frustrating part of the story, really. We hate him, we love him, we like him and then we hate him for the rest of the book. Never fear, the underlying themes of the story are extraordinary and that alone should make everyone want to read this book. I would also like to take advantage of this space offered to me and recommend the movie.

Apr 08, karen rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 84 comments. Apr 02, Kai rated it it was amazing Shelves: Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought.

This novel did so many things to me. There was lots of crying Find more of my books on Instagram. View all 14 comments.

Jan 12, Majenta rated it it was amazing. The lawsuit said the author's conduct "is not a mere insult, indignity, annoyance or trivial matter to Ablene. Kathryn Stockett's conduct has made Ablene feel violated, outraged and revulsed," according to the Jackson Clarion Ledger. The author's father, Robert Stockett Jr.

The film, directed by Tate Taylor and starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, looks at what happens when a Southern town's unspoken code of rules and behavior is shattered by three women who strike an unlikely friendship. Shot in Mississippi, it is set for release in movie theaters Aug. He also noted that his author daughter, who has moved north to Atlanta, "is also a New Yorker now. They didn't give me the critics' copy until it was too late," he said.

But I'm low down the totem pole. He charged media with "stirring up the pot" in the dispute between his son's maid and his daughter, adding that the ensuing publicity surrounding the feud would benefit his daughter financially.

The author also could not be reached but her husband, Keith Rogers, said from their home in Atlanta that he and his wife "don't know [Cooper] well. Amy Einhorn, whose imprint at Penguin Group USA published the book, was also unavailable, but she had earlier issued a prepared statement to the media: We cannot comment further regarding ongoing litigation.

Stockton, herself, who has described the novel as, "fiction, by and large," admitted in several earlier interviews that the book had not been embraced enthusiastically in her hometown.

One of Cooper's neighbors said she had not read "The Help," but had heard about the dispute on the television news. Neither the black nor the white community would accept Lulabelle, so Constantine gave her up for adoption when she was four years old.

When the little girl grew up, she and Constantine were reunited. While Skeeter was away at college, Lulabelle came to visit her mother in Jackson and showed up at a party being held in Skeeter's mother's living room. When Charlotte Phelan discovered who Lulabelle was, she kicked her out and fired Constantine.

Constantine had nowhere else to go, so she moved with her daughter to Chicago and an even worse fate. Skeeter never saw Constantine again. Skeeter's book is set in the fictional town of Niceville and published anonymously. It becomes a national bestseller and, soon, the white women of Jackson begin recognizing themselves in the book's characters. Hilly Holbrook, in particular, is set on vengeance due to the details in the book. Hilly and Skeeter grew up best friends, but they now have very different views on race and the future of integration in Mississippi.

Hilly, who leads the Junior League and bosses around the other white women in the town, reveals to Stuart, Skeeter's boyfriend, that she found a copy of the Jim Crow laws in Skeeter's purse, which further ostracizes Skeeter from their community.

Navigation menu

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The Help is an emotional rollercoaster with a touching message and a strong undercurrent of hope. If you, like me, weren't sure about reading it, I can't recommend it strongly enough. Read more/5(10K).

Privacy FAQs

The Help [Kathryn Stockett] on eclipsed.ml *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The #1 New York Times bestselling novel and basis for the Academy Award-winning film—a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by/5(10K).

About Our Ads

The Help, Kathryn Stockett's debut novel, tells the story of black maids working in white Southern homes in the early s in Jackson, Mississippi, and of Miss Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, a year-old graduate from Ole Miss, who returns to her family's cotton plantation, Longleaf, to find that her. Stockett is a wonderful novelist, and The Help is a charming, thoughtful novel about women finding their voices, and the truths we see when we have the courage to look unflinchingly into the mirror. ( /5(K).

Cookie Info

The Help, Kathryn Stockett The Help is a novel by American author Kathryn Stockett. The story is about African Americans working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early s. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هفتم ماه آوریل سال میلادی /5. Kathryn Stockett Biography - Kathryn Stockett is a writer and editor of American origin. Born in in Jackson, Mississippi, she is best known for her critically acclaimed novel The Help. Stockett studied creative writing and English for her undergraduate course from University of Alabama. Then she moved to New York in order to pursue work in.